EXPLORING COLUMBUS, ONE BUS RIDE AT A TIME
When I lived on campus and wanted to avoid reading AT ALL COSTS, I would hop on the bus line and explore the city. Now that you’re all settled in your dorm or first off-campus home, and more or less understand the nuances of campus life, I think it’s time to head out and check out the city with your handy-dandy BuckID, meaning, your bus pass. New to the COTA? Have no fear. Their website lets you enter a starting and ending address so it can calculate the exact bus route(s) you need to take. Go to cota.com/trip-planner to find your first route to some of my favorite Cbus hot spots!
Catch a movie and grab a beer at Studio 35. This two-screen local cinema features a myriad of themed activities including a monthly screening of Rocky Horror. Although football season is now over, they also screen OSU games on Saturdays. I love this place.
Eat, Purr, Love Cat Café
While you’re waiting for your movie at Studio 35 to start, why not get a coffee and pet kitties at the cat café? All of the kitties are adoptable and all profits made at the café go towards fighting animal cruelty.
BEST. COMICS. STORE. IN. TOWN. Seriously. I love browsing all the selections in the store. If they don’t have the comic you’re looking for, they’ll order it for you. It’s the best.
If you’re into tabletop games, Tabletop is the store for you. They have a huge selection of board games for you to play with as little as one more person. The employees are super knowledgeable of all the games available and will walk you through how to play them if you have any questions.
If you’re like me and love having a ridiculous amount of mugs, you may want to visit the clay cafe. You can make and decorate your own mug (or anything else, really) and they’ll put it in an oven for you et voilá!
Probably my favorite shop in the Short North. They have all the candies and sodas your heart can desire. Totally bomb.
This public market features food vendors from all over Columbus, from Jeni’s to Hot Chicken Takeover. Pro tip: Go early in the morning and snag a cinnamon roll from Omega Bakery.
Another tabletop bar in Columbus. I love the atmosphere in Kingmakers, and their cookies are the bomb. Grab an afternoon coffee or an evening beer.
This new store in the middle of the Short North is your one-stop shop for fiction, comics, YA and more.
If you’re a serious fan of vinyl, this should be on your list of places to visit in Columbus.
I’m like, obsessed with candles. They make my apartment smell all nice and clean. I know that you “can’t” have candles in dorms per the rules, but I truly recommend visiting Candle Lab and making your own candle. Pro tip: D-tix has discount tickets for this store.
Right behind North Market is Park Street. Park Street is a good place to visit if you want a quick succession of bars with decent drinks. It’s also just south of Neil Ave., so don’t walk all the way to High St. to catch a bus; a rideshare app will get you to campus in no time.
The Book Loft
is my favorite book store in Columbus, and for some, it’s their favorite in the country. Smack dab in the middle of historic German Village, this store has over 15 floor-to-ceiling rooms full of books of different topics.
Stauf’s Coffee Roasters
Either before or after you hit up the Book Loft, make sure you make a quick stop in Stauf’s if you’re low on caffeine or want a place to work off-campus. (Pssst… Have you seen the new one on Neil and 6th?!)
Schiller Park This park is so beautiful. It has a lake and sits in the middle of amazing houses in German Village, and the trees make it the BEST date spot in Columbus, in my humble opinion. In the summer, they do Shakespeare in the Park for free and it is honestly, quite entertaining. Especially on a super low budget.
Schmidt’s Fudge Haus
(and Sausage Haus)
Y’all. The fudge here, though! Once you’re done stuffing your face over at the Schmidt’s Sausage Haus (remember to order a cream puff ), make your way over to the Fudge Haus and grab some sweets to go. You won’t regret it.
The Red Stable
Right across the street from the fudge haus is Red Stable, a store that features artwork from local artists from Columbus. I once got a necklace with a mini-harmonica and the darned thing still works like a charm. I always make it a point to stop here before I go home for the holidays. I guarantee you’ll find a cute gift here, perhaps for Valentines Day? Wink wink!